Archive for: December, 2016

Wise New Year Thought For 2017 and You & Eating

One of the very best differences between a diet mentality and a healthy thin mentality is that your healthy thin mentality gets easier over time.
When I dieted, I always felt like I was on a tightrope, and at some point, either I, or the tightrope, would snap and I would fall fall, fall. Or, like a rubber band was being stretched, and at some point it would snap back.
But the habits and practices of your healthy thin mentality, such as not weighing yourself, or matching eating with hunger, get EASIER. So instead of “using up” your “discipline” or “willpower,” like when you diet, you are building yourself stronger and stronger.
And you know what?  Unlike the diet industry, I don’t want you to need me or any food or eating advice, eventually.
Food and eating and your weight will become an easy and joyful part of life.   And at some point, you will not need to reinforce your healthy thin mentality.
It will be there for you for the rest of your life.
The diet industry wants you to need them… for life. Oh my how sad.  (For more on how true this is, follow this link:
My best to you in 2017- Peace and Love- Meg

Thanksgiving Without Regrets


AHHHHHH!!   Doesn’t Have To be This Way


9 ways to enjoy Thanksgiving, including pie!!  without overeating and without gaining weight

  1. Read a blog or part of my books or workbooks to strengthen your commitment eating when hungry, and not eating when not hungry
  2. Make no judgments on what anyone else is eating.  It is not your business.
  3. If someone judges what you are eating, dismiss their comments from your mind- don’t argue.
  4. Eat the foods you like the best first.
  5. As soon as you feel that “push back” from your body that says, “hey I have had enough,” stop eating.
  6. When you feel disappointed that you didn’t eat as much food as you usually do, remember this important clarification:  You can eat it all, just not all at once.  Maybe an hour later you are hungry again-Eat!  Maybe you have a wonderful breakfast of leftovers.
  7. Understand that love expressed through food is lovely.  So when someone pressures you to try there creation, all you need is to take a taste and really cherish it and tell them how are going to package it up so carefully so you can enjoy all week.
  8. If you are new at developing your thin mentality, make sure you give your body time to signal you that you have had enough.  Many healthy thin mentality eaters do eat fast, like me!” but over the years I have become very tuned into what amount of food does it for me so I don’t need to slow down.
  9. If Thanksgiving isn’t tThanksgiving without pumpkin pie, make sure that by dessert-time you still have hunger left, or give yourself a 2-4 hours to have hunger come back, or go ahead and eat it as your first course– if your host wouldn’t be mad!

So just keep theses gentle little thoughts in your head.  You will realize that that sick over full filling is so awful.  Don’t do that to yourself this year.  That success will give you pride and confidence.

16 Years into my Healthy Thin Mentality I promise you Thanksgiving is great, I enjoy food tremendously and I never get that sick over-full feeling.



A new study found that not getting enough shuteye may cause us to eat nearly 400 calories more the following day


Reprinted from Huffington Post– Please read!  I have definitely experienced this myself!!

A new analysis of existing research found that not getting enough shuteye makes us eat more the following day ― nearly 400 calories more. And we tend to choose less healthy foods, too.

Over the long run those calories add up, according to Gerda Pot, the study’s author and a lecturer in the Diabetes & Nutritional Sciences Division at King’s College London.

“If long-term sleep deprivation continues to result in an increased calorie intake of this magnitude, it may contribute to weight gain,” Pot said. “And ultimately to obesity and [being] overweight.”

The new analysis pooled data from 172 people in 11 different studies that investigated how short sleep affected calorie intake. On average, the analysis found, people ate an additional 385 calories on the days after they hadn’t gotten a full night’s sleep ― ranging from 3.5 to 5.5 hours ― compared to days when they slept at least seven hours.

What’s more, when sleep deprived, people tended to eat more fat and less protein. That’s problematic because fat contains more calories per gram than protein and protein keeps you fuller longer ― so eating poorer quality calories therefore could be leading people to eat a higher quantity of calories overall, Pot said.

There are likely several reasons we tend to eat more when we don’t get enough sleep. One simple idea? “We simply have more hours to eat ― so more time to eat,” Pot said.

There is also evidence that short nights of sleep cause the body to produce more ghrelin (the hormone that tells us we’re hungry) and less leptin (the hormone that helps regulate energy and food intake and tells you when you’re full). And not sleeping enough throws off our circadian rhythm ― our body’s internal clock ― which also helps regulate when we’re hungry and when we eat.

The researchers acknowledge that the 400 extra calories our overtired selves eat per day (according to this study) may even be an underestimate because they only looked at lab-controlled experiments. So this data may not account for other real-life factors that affect how much we eat after a poor night’s sleep (we’re looking at you impulse, mid-afternoon pick-me-up brownie).

But the lab studies do allow the researchers to make a straightforward (and accurately measured) comparison of sleep time, calories consumed and calories expended.

And beyond this lab research, other studies have shown that being sleep deprived may make us more inclined to choose bigger portions and choose foods higher in calories and carbohydrates, too ― and make less healthy choices at the grocery store.

The bottom line: there’s likely several reasons we’re more likely to eat more when we’re overtired ― so it doesn’t hurt to pay extra attention to food choices if you know you’re not well rested. And feel good about catching all the Zs you need ― they could be helping prevent weight gain and obesity (and all the complications that come with both).

Sarah DiGiulio is The Huffington Post’s sleep reporter. You can contact her at


When you Know you can Eat when you are Hungry, not eating when you are not hungry gets easier


As I was eating this delicious chicken sandwich and fries, I was thinking about all the wonderful people who have emailed me and wondered if they really could be free of dieting, eat the food they love, and still be happy with their size.




Here are some of the ways your mind will change:

Diet Mentality– Well I ate two french fries, I might as well eat them all and the whole sandwich cause I already blew it and I will start again Monday.

Healthy Thin Mentality– These french fries are so good.  And so is this chicken.  Yum.  Oops, not hungry anymore.  No way will I eat the rest of this sandwich-shoving food down without hunger feels AWFUL.  It didn’t used to feel bad- but now that I have tied eating to hunger- my body begs me not to eat when I am not hungry.  Yes This Happens!!

Diet Mentality– I am so mad at myself for ordering something I couldn’t resist

Healthy Thin Mentality– I love this food!  oops- not hungry anymore. I will save the rest.  No way am I eating without hunger- that would be weird.

Diet Mentality–  I saw this woman eating french fries.  If I eat one, I gain I gain 5 pounds

Healthy Thin Mentality–  Nothing is fattening when you are hungry, Everything is fattening when you are not!

Join me in this world of enjoying food, your body, and having the time and energy for better things than food obsession!  (My workbook will help you get through the transition)

Change your mind and your body  will follow…. beautifully.



Women who’d gone on two or more diets during the study were 5X as likely to become overweight


I copied and pasted this amazing article so you don’t even have to link out!!  Read it!Why You Can’t Lose Weight on a Diet


The problem isn’t willpower. It’s neuroscience. You can’t — and shouldn’t — fight back.


SIX years after dropping an average of 129 pounds on the TV program “The Biggest Loser,” a new study reports, the participants were burning about 500 fewer calories a day than other people their age and size. This helps explain why they had regained 70 percent of their lost weight since the show’s finale. The diet industry reacted defensively, arguing that the participants had lost weight too fast or ate the wrong kinds of food — that diets do work, if you pick the right one.

But this study is just the latest example of research showing that in the long run dieting is rarely effective, doesn’t reliably improve health and does more harm than good. There is a better way to eat.

The root of the problem is not willpower but neuroscience. Metabolic suppression is one of several powerful tools that the brain uses to keep the body within a certain weight range, called the set point. The range, which varies from person to person, is determined by genes and life experience. When dieters’ weight drops below it, they not only burn fewer calories but also produce more hunger- inducing hormones and find eating more rewarding.

The brain’s weight-regulation system considers your set point to be the correct weight for you, whether or not your doctor agrees. If someone starts at 120 pounds and drops to 80, her brain rightfully declares a starvation state of emergency, using every method available to get that weight back up to normal. The same thing happens to someone who starts at 300 pounds and diets down to 200, as the “Biggest Loser” participants discovered.

This coordinated brain response is a major reason that dieters find weight loss so hard to achieve and maintain. For example, men with severe obesity have only one chance in 1,290 of reaching the normal weight range within a year; severely obese women have one chance in 677. A vast majority of those who beat the odds are likely to end up gaining the weight back over the next five years. In private, even the diet industry agrees that weight loss is rarely sustained. A report for members of the industry stated: “In 2002, 231 million Europeans attempted some form of diet. Of these only 1 percent will achieve permanent weight loss.”

The specific “Biggest Loser” diet plan is probably not to blame. A previous study found similar metabolic suppression in people who had lost weight and kept it off for up to six years. Whether weight is lost slowly or quickly has no effect on later regain. Likewise — despite endless debate about the relative value of different approaches — in head-to-head comparisons, diet plans that provide the same calories through different types of food lead to similar weight loss and regain.

As a neuroscientist, I’ve read hundreds of studies on the brain’s ability to fight weight loss. I also know about it from experience. For three decades, starting at age 13, I lost and regained the same 10 or 15 pounds almost every year. On my most serious diet, in my late 20s, I got down to 125 pounds, 30 pounds below my normal weight. I wanted (unwisely) to lose more, but I got stuck. After several months of eating fewer than 800 calories a day and spending an hour at the gym every morning, I hadn’t lost another ounce. When I gave up on losing and switched my goal to maintaining that weight, I started gaining instead.

I was lucky to end up back at my starting weight instead of above it. After about five years, 41 percent of dieters gain back more weight than they lost. Long- term studies show dieters are more likely than non-dieters to become obese over the next one to 15 years. That’s true in men and women, across ethnic groups, from childhood through middle age. The effect is strongest in those who started in the normal weight range, a group that includes almost half of the female dieters in the United States.

Some experts argue that instead of dieting leading to long-term weight gain, the relationship goes in the other direction: People who are genetically prone to

gain weight are more likely to diet. To test this idea, in a 2012 study, researchers followed over 4,000 twins aged 16 to 25. Dieters were more likely to gain weight than their non-dieting identical twins, suggesting that dieting does indeed increase weight gain even after accounting for genetic background. The difference in weight gain was even larger between fraternal twins, so dieters may also have a higher genetic tendency to gain. The study found that a single diet increased the odds of becoming overweight by a factor of two in men and three in women. Women who had gone on two or more diets during the study were five times as likely to become overweight.

The causal relationship between diets and weight gain can also be tested by studying people with an external motivation to lose weight. Boxers and wrestlers who diet to qualify for their weight classes presumably have no particular genetic predisposition toward obesity. Yet a 2006 study found that elite athletes who competed for Finland in such weight-conscious sports were three times more likely to be obese by age 60 than their peers who competed in other sports.

To test this idea rigorously, researchers could randomly assign people to worry about their weight, but that is hard to do. One program took the opposite approach, though, helping teenage girls who were unhappy with their bodies to become less concerned about their weight. In a randomized trial, the eBody Project, an online program to fight eating disorders by reducing girls’ desire to be thin, led to less dieting and also prevented future weight gain. Girls who participated in the program saw their weight remain stable over the next two years, while their peers without the intervention gained a few pounds.

WHY would dieting lead to weight gain? First, dieting is stressful. Calorie restriction produces stress hormones, which act on fat cells to increase the amount of abdominal fat. Such fat is associated with medical problems like diabetes and heart disease, regardless of overall weight.

Second, weight anxiety and dieting predict later binge eating, as well as weight gain. Girls who labeled themselves as dieters in early adolescence were three times more likely to become overweight over the next four years. Another study found that adolescent girls who dieted frequently were 12 times more likely than non- dieters to binge two years later.

My repeated dieting eventually caught up with me, as this research would predict. When I was in graduate school and under a lot of stress, I started binge eating. I would finish a carton of ice cream or a box of saltines with butter, usually at 3 a.m. The urge to keep eating was intense, even after I had made myself sick. Fortunately, when the stress eased, I was able to stop. At the time, I felt terrible about being out of control, but now I know that binge eating is a common mammalian response to starvation.

Much of what we understand about weight regulation comes from studies of rodents, whose eating habits resemble ours. Mice and rats enjoy the same wide range of foods that we do. When tasty food is plentiful, individual rodents gain different amounts of weight, and the genes that influence weight in people have similar effects in mice. Under stress, rodents eat more sweet and fatty foods. Like us, both laboratory and wild rodents have become fatter over the past few decades.

In the laboratory, rodents learn to binge when deprivation alternates with tasty food — a situation familiar to many dieters. Rats develop binge eating after several weeks consisting of five days of food restriction followed by two days of free access to Oreos. Four days later, a brief stressor leads them to eat almost twice as many Oreos as animals that received the stressor but did not have their diets restricted. A small taste of Oreos can induce deprived animals to binge on regular chow, if nothing else is available. Repeated food deprivation changes dopamine and other neurotransmitters in the brain that govern how animals respond to rewards, which increases their motivation to seek out and eat food. This may explain why the animals binge, especially as these brain changes can last long after the diet is over.

In people, dieting also reduces the influence of the brain’s weight-regulation system by teaching us to rely on rules rather than hunger to control eating. People who eat this way become more vulnerable to external cues telling them what to eat. In the modern environment, many of those cues were invented by marketers to make us eat more, like advertising, supersizing and the all-you-can-eat buffet. Studies show that long-term dieters are more likely to eat for emotional reasons or simply because food is available. When dieters who have long ignored their hunger finally exhaust their willpower, they tend to overeat for all these reasons, leading to weight gain.

Even people who understand the difficulty of long-term weight loss often turn to dieting because they are worried about health problems associated with obesity like heart disease and diabetes. But our culture’s view of obesity as uniquely deadly is mistaken. Low fitness, smoking, high blood pressure, low income and loneliness are all better predictors of early death than obesity. Exercise is especially important: Data from a 2009 study showed that low fitness is responsible for 16 percent to 17 percent of deaths in the United States, while obesity accounts for only 2 percent to 3 percent, once fitness is factored out. Exercise reduces abdominal fat and improves health, even without weight loss. This suggests that overweight people should focus more on exercising than on calorie restriction.

In addition, the evidence that dieting improves people’s health is surprisingly poor. Part of the problem is that no one knows how to get more than a small fraction of people to sustain weight loss for years. The few studies that overcame that hurdle are not encouraging. In a 2013 study of obese and overweight people with diabetes, on average the dieters maintained a 6 percent weight loss for over nine years, but the dieters had a similar number of heart attacks, strokes and deaths from heart disease during that time as the control group. Earlier this year, researchers found that intentional weight loss had no effect on mortality in overweight diabetics followed for 19 years.


Lose your Diet Mentality and Thin Happens


Free to enjoy life without food stress

Someone asked me in a FB post a couple of days ago:  “So you think thin is better?”

That requires a longer answer than I could do on FB.

This is what I know:


No matter how much you weigh, dieting hurts you.  So the first thing is to stop dieting.   I care more about this than  being “thin.”


But happily, for me and many of the people who follow me, when you stop dieting, your body is able to lead you to your ideal weight range.

It is the ultimate irony.


So it is not so much that I think “thin” (and I mean healthy thin) is better, it is simply that when you have a healthy thin mentality, instead of a diet mentality, Thin Happens!  So I advise that your goal is not to be thin, it is to build a healthy, happy relationship with food, and you will be delighted with the result.

These are things that I never, never, never, ever, ever, ever, ever thought I would do, when I was a dieter, that I do now with a Healthy Thin Mentality:

  • Suddenly realize I didn’t eat anything for lunch
  • Go to dinner and not order because I wasn’t hungry
  • Eat cake for breakfast and not feel guilty
  • Choose a kale salad because I really wanted it
  • Eat salad without dressing because I just really wanted to taste the vegetables
  • Eat chicken in the middle of the night because I woke up hungry
  • Eat just the top of a donut
  • Never ever weigh myself except when I go to the doctor
  • Everything is my closet- even really old stuff, fits
  • Exercise because I want to
  • Skip exercise because my body told me I was too tired

There are so many more.  Please join me in this life where your time and energy are spent on love, good work, and an appreciation of the simple and joyful pleasure of living.  Everything isn’t perfect.  But no matter what is going on in your life, a calm and happy relationship with food, eating and your body nurtures you.

For years, dieting robbed me of this because it made me disrespect the wisdom, instincts and beauty of my body so completely.

I am begging you, my friends, to understand this.  Because I wish someone had explained this to me, when I was a young woman.  Whew-  I am glad I figured it out, though!  Cheers!


Neuroscientist Explains Why Diets are Fattening


I am delighted that Sandra Aamodt, Ph.D, a neuroscientist whose Ted Talk I have recommended many times, now has written a book called, Why Diets Make Us Fat.

It is great to have a common sense approach to eating and dieting supported by Dr. Aamodt.

For those of you who may have had doubts about my advice, check out her Ted Talk on YouTube

And remember:

  • Dieting makes you more likely to be heavier over time.
  • Dieting doesn’t work – 78.6 million Americans are OBESE and many of these obese people got there by yo-yo dieting.
  • Stress causes your body to release hormones that are related to weight gain.  Diets cause stress…. Hmm..

I created my workbook to guide you through the transition from diet mentality to healthy thin mentality. (Available on this site)  Also, please:

Subscribe to my YouTube channel for  for an upcoming series using my WorkBook as a guide. YouTube Page for an upcoming series using my WorkBook as a guide.

Help spread this message by sharing this page!



How Obeying Nutrition Research Backfires All The Time

scientist with money

For 25 years, I ignored my own body and listened to the the “expert of the day” to decide what to eat,  when to eat to and how much to eat.

Do not do this to yourself.

What seems like a simple, and harmless action– restricting calories, replacing food you love with “clean food” and ignoring hunger, is not harmless, it is destructive.

It fundamentally changes your relationship with food, eating and your body:

  • You become less able to “hear” hunger and satiety because you ignore it.
  • You reject your body’s ability to guide your eating and instead eat according to some stranger’s advice.
  • Instead of a stress-free relationship with one of life’s greatest pleasures, eating, you agonize over food, you weigh yourself before and after you pee, and you have several sizes of jeans in your  closet.

Why did I, (and why do you) put yourself through this?

Because we are trying so hard to do the right thing, to get healthy, to have a lean body we can proud of, to lose that baby weight, to get back into that pair of jeans, that we get desperate:

So we listen to advice that is propped up by a massive revenue machine: the diet industry.

But diet/nutrition research is flawed because researchers frequently have a corrupt agenda for the results they seek.   This leads to the ever changing “magic food” of the day- a la Dr. Oz.

  • They may truly believe that fats are bad and seek to prove that and ignore contradictory results
  • They may benefit financially for supporting a food group
  • Lobbyists for food/diet industries PAY for research and influence interpretations-yes even FDA research (See the Men Who Made Us Thin – BBC documentary of YouTube- 4 part series- eye opening…)

So your good intentions to follow smart scientists leave you, ironically, subject to bad advice.   If you doubt this, read this:  (It is also reprinted at end of this post)

And the vast majority of testimonies you see are not real.

Don’t swallow a testimony from a highly-paid celebrity!  They are paid millions!  She may have had weight loss surgery, liposuction, cool sculpting etc., and credit some diet because they are paying her millions.

So, may I “bottom line” this for you?

It is not reasonable to ignore your body’s voice to get to a healthy weight, a healthy relationship with food, and to enjoy eating.

In fact, respecting your body’s voice is the way to get there!  

It is in you, buried under a layer of deep diet mentality.  People, if I can get rid of mine, you can get rid of yours.  Mine was so so powerful.

I created a book and workbook to guide you through this.  Believe me, I am not doing this to make money off of you.  This is a passion for me.  I put it together to mimic how I made the transition.  It is the best gift you can give yourself.  I am starting to put it out on YouTube too.-  I will go through it week by week.  So, if you don’t want to spend money on the book- check out YouTube Diets Are Fattening.  But I do think that it is helpful if you use it in conjunction with the vids, I think it would be more powerful.

I will post on Facebook, Twitter and  when I have new vids up.

I am screaming this message! Below I have reprinted the article from The Washington Post that I mentioned earlier.


This study 40 years ago could have reshaped the American diet. But it was never fully published.

By Peter Whoriskey April 12

It was one of the largest, most rigorous experiments ever conducted on an important diet question: How do fatty foods affect our health? Yet it took more than 40 years — that is, until today — for a clear picture of the results to reach the public.

The fuller results appeared Tuesday in BMJ, a medical journal, featuring some never-before-published data. Collectively, the fuller results undermine the conventional wisdom regarding dietary fat that has persisted for decades and is still enshrined in influential publications such as the U.S. government’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans. But the long-belated saga of the Minnesota Coronary Experiment may also make a broader point about how science gets done: it suggests just how difficult it can be for new evidence to see the light of day when it contradicts widely held theories.

The story begins in the late 1960s and early ’70s, when researchers in Minnesota engaged thousands of institutionalized mental patients to compare the effects of two diets. One group of patients was fed a diet intended to lower blood cholesterol and reduce heart disease. It contained less saturated fat, less cholesterol and more vegetable oil. The other group was fed a more typical American diet.

Just as researchers expected, the special diet reduced blood cholesterol in patients. And while the special diet didn’t seem to have any effect on heart disease, researchers said they suspected that a benefit would have appeared if the experiment had gone on longer.

There was “a favorable trend,” they wrote, for younger patients.

Today, the principles of that special diet — less saturated fat, more vegetable oils — are recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the government’s official diet advice book. Yet the fuller accounting of the Minnesota
data indicates that the advice is, at best, unsupported by the massive trial. In fact, it appears to show just the opposite: Patients who lowered their cholesterol, presumably because of the special diet, actually

suffered more heart-related deaths than those who did not.
The higher rate of mortality for patients on the special diet was most apparent among patients older than 64.

The new researchers, led by investigators from the National Institutes of Health and the University of North Carolina, conclude that the absence of the data over the past 40 years or so may have led to a misunderstanding of this key dietary issue.

“Incomplete publication has contributed to the overestimation of benefits and underestimation of potential risks” of the special diet, they wrote.

“Had this research been published 40 years ago, it might have changed the trajectory of diet-heart research and recommendations” said Daisy Zamora, a researcher at UNC and a lead author of the study.

The new research drew quick criticism, however, especially from experts who have been prominent in the campaign against saturated fats.

“The bottom line is that this report adds no useful new information and is irrelevant to current dietary recommendations that emphasize replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat,” Walter Willett, chair of the nutrition department at Harvard University, said in a blog post from the school. “Many lines of evidence support this conclusion.”

He characterized the new analysis of the old experiment as “an interesting historical footnote.” ***
[Related: The rapidly evolving science on dietary fat]

The new research will agitate the debate over one of the most controversial questions in all of nutrition: Does the consumption of saturated fats —the ones characteristic of meat and dairy products — contribute to heart disease?

It is, without doubt, an important question. Heart disease is the leading cause of mortality in the United States, and Americans eat a lot of red meat and dairy foods.

The federal government has long blamed saturated fats for health troubles, and it continues — through the Dietary Guidelines for Americans — to recommend that people limit their intake.

Indeed, the Dietary Guidelines continue to embrace the principles advocated by the Minnesota researchers from 40 years ago. The book advises Americans to limit their intake of saturated fats and to replace them at least in part with oils, just as the Minnesota experimenters did 40 years ago. More specifically, it advises Americans to consume about five teaspoons (27 grams) of oils per day, mentioning canola, corn, olive, peanut, safflower, soybean and sunflower oils.

“Oils should replace solid fats rather than being added to the diet,” it advises.

But the idea that spurning saturated fat will, by itself, make people healthier has never been fully proved, and in recent years repeated clinical trials and large-scale observational studies have produced evidence to the contrary. Whether cutting saturated fats out of your diet will make you healthier depends, of course, on what you replace them with.

“What this research implies is that there is not enough evidence to draw strong conclusions about the health effects of vegetable oils” Christopher Ramsden, a medical investigator at NIH and a lead author of the study, said in an interview. While urging caution in drawing conclusions about the new analysis, he said the research suggested

saturated fats “may not be as bad as originally thought.”

Ramsden and colleagues discovered the missing data during their research examining the potentially harmful effects of linoleic acid — a key constituent of most vegetable oils — on human health. Preliminary research suggests a link between linoleic acid and diseases such as chronic pain, Ramsden said, and humans have been consuming it in larger quantities than their bodies may be prepared for. Before the advent of agriculture, humans got 2 to 3 percent of their calories from linoleic acid, according to the new paper; today most Americans, awash in cooking oils and oils added to snack foods, get much more.

It’s not exactly clear why the full set of data from the Minnesota experiment was never published.

As research efforts on diets go, the study was rigorous. Funded by the U.S. Public Health Service and the National Heart Institute, it involved more than 9,000 patients who were randomly assigned to one of the two diets. Detailed measurements of blood cholesterol and other indexes of health were recorded.

Willett, the Harvard nutritionist, faulted the experiment because many of the patients were on the special diets for relatively brief periods – many were being released from the mental institutions. But about a quarter of the patients remained on the diet for a year or longer, and why such an apparently well-done study received so little fanfare is mystifying to some.

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The results of the study were never touted by the investigators. Partial results were presented at an American Heart Association conference in 1975, and it wasn’t until 1989 that some of the results were published, appearing in a medical journal known as Arteriosclerosis.

The lead investigators of the trial, noted scientists Ancel Keys and Ivan Frantz, are deceased.

Steven Broste, now a retired biostatistician, was then a student at the University of Minnesota and used the full set of data for his master’s thesis in 1981. He interacted with the researchers. Part of the problem, Broste suggested in an interview, may have been limits on statistical methods at the time. Computer software for statistics wasn’t as readily available as it is today. So, at the time of the study, it wasn’t as easy to know how significant the data was. Broste completed his thesis several years after the last patients had left the trial, but it was not published in a journal.

Broste also suggested that at least part of the reason for the incomplete publication of the data might have been human nature. The Minnesota investigators had a theory that they believed in — that reducing blood cholesterol would make people healthier. Indeed, the idea was widespread and would soon be adopted by the federal government in the first dietary recommendations. So when the data they collected from the mental patients conflicted with this theory, the scientists may have been reluctant to believe what their experiment had turned up.

“The results flew in the face of what people believed at the time,” said Broste. “Everyone thought cholesterol was the culprit. This theory was so widely held and so firmly believed — and then it wasn’t borne out by the data. The question then became: Was it a bad theory? Or was it bad data? … My perception was they were hung up trying to understand the results.”

Peter Whoriskey is a staff writer for The Washington Post handling projects in business, healthcare and health. You can email him at ! Follow @PeterWhoriskey

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I Hope This Email Reprint Helps You

With permission from the author, I am sharing this email with you.  This genuine and heart felt email reflects the freedom and happiness developing a thin mentality brings to your life.

Hi Meg
Your book is amazing! I found myself laughing out loud a lot because I could relate to so many things! I think I’ve made the new years resolution every year for the past 10 that this will be my year!! This will be the year I lose the weight, haha. The the following Christmas I always find myself fatter than I started having tried 6 different fad diets that year, depressed and stuffing my face knowing that “next year I’ll really try, next year will be my year, I’ll start in January and this time I’ll have more willpower!” and so the cycle has continued!! 

What I also loved was your take on exercise! Now I enjoy exercise but I have always used it as a means to lose weight and I would only ever do the hardest thing I could find, I kick-boxed for years I used to dread going but I knew it would be a grueling workout (and I did always feel better after), I would get out of at 6am to a punishing boot camp convinced that I had to push myself as hard as possible to lose weight. Consequently my exercise, like my diet has been a yo-yo because i could never keep up with the demands I put on myself, I’d hammer it for 2/3 months then cave and not do anything for 1/2 months!! I started Zumba last year and I loved it!!!! I would get excited before the class, I loved been there, I would lose myself during the class in all the fun of the dancing and music and I’d be disappointed when it finished because it went over to fast!! But I stopped going because I didn’t think it was hard enough, it wasn’t punishment and I had convinced myself that in order to have any benefits you shouldn’t be able to move after a workout and should hurt for 3 days after it! How sad is that! I stopped something I loved to go back to my yo-yo exercise of punishment or nothing! Well no more! I went back to Zumba this week and I tried Bokwa and I loved it! The excitement came back and I don’t care that I wasn’t in pain the next day at the end of the day I enjoyed myself surely that’s what life’s all about. 

Thanks Meg, I’ll treasure the book I really will, I’ll read it again soon just to reinforce everything as I continue on my journey. I’m so grateful I found your site and I love your blog. 

I’m so happy, I’m not perfect at it yet, I think I’ve cracked the hunger thing. I now only eat when I’m hungry, I look forward to waiting until I’m hungry because I can only enjoy food now when I’m hungry it tastes so much better. The stopping when I’m satisfied is taking a bit longer to crack, I’m almost there I think and 80% of the time I manage it but I do still occasionally eat more, nothing like I used to mind I don’t “over eat” until I’m feeling sick anymore but I sometimes finish and think “I didnt need them last 3 bites” or “I didn’t need that chocolate” it’s usually when I’m eating with other people. The good thing is I’m aware of it when I’ve done it and I also HATE the feeling of been full, I hate it! It’s so uncomfortable I like to feel “normal” like a neutral feeling. So I’m getting there with that. It’s fun though, nothing’s a chore and I’m getting on with life once and for all. 

Thanks for listening to me, I’m sorry I bombard you with emails it’s just nice to talk to someone that understands what I’m saying. I think some of my friends and family think I’m on some new fad of mine that I’m going stop anytime soon do I try not to talk about it to them to much. Everyone’s commenting on how happy I seem and putting it down to my wedding and it is but it’s more to the fact that I feel free and I know now I’ll enjoy my wedding fully, I’ll enjoy the holiday and I don’t have the fear of gaining weight before it, during it or after it!! Ah I’m so happy.